A Fan's NotesThere are some songwriters that just speak to you. You know what I’m talking about, right? They may not be world famous, they may not even be known outside of a limited geographical area, and yet, the music and lyrics they write hit you where you live.

Keith Monacchio is one of those songwriters for me. Keith is from Trenton, New Jersey, and when I first met him about ten years ago we were both plying the Asbury Park music scene, Keith in his fine band, the Commons, and me as guy with guitar and a newly released album. At the time Keith’s songs were dark, but with a wicked vein of humor running through them, and they appealed to me right away.

About eight years ago Keith left the Commons and set out on his own. Two years later his first solo album, The Long Evening, ended up near the top of my best-of-the-year list. I wasn’t the only one who felt that way about the album either. Jim Testa of Jersey Beat said ”Like a good book, Keith Monacchio’s songs drag you into his world and introduce you to unforgettable characters, however gray and unwelcoming that world may seem.”

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Jay Lustig of the Star-Ledger wrote about Keith’s ”Gracefully melodic songs about life, love and dealing with the real world, with flashes of confidence but also moments of great vulnerability.” In 2012 Keith released an acclaimed EP called Tips, Drinks and Gas Money, an occasion that John Pfeiffer of The Aquarian noted by saying that ”Keith Monacchio is a guy who will leave his mark on our collective music history.”

After taking some time to start a family, Keith is back with a new solo album. The Dust Up, which will be released on September 10, offers ten songs that stand with the best of Keith’s work. The album was produced by his long-time collaborator Sean Glonek, and features a skillful band that includes Jay Walker on bass, drummer Tom Kale, and Jerry Steele on pedal steel guitar.

Popdose is proud to offer the exclusive premiere of The Dust’s Up‘s opening track, “Angels on the Horizon.” The song’s lyrics find Keith looking for salvation in an increasingly hostile world. Here then, from Keith Monacchio’s The Dust Up, is “Angels on the Horizon.”

The Dust Up will be available at iTunes and all of your favorite online music outlets on September 10. For those of you in New Jersey, there will be an album release show at the Belmar Arts Council that night.

About the Author

Ken Shane

Ken Shane lives in Narragansett, R.I. He is a freelance writer and far and away the oldest Popdose writer. In fact, he may be the oldest writer, period. He wants you to know that he generally does not share his colleagues' love for the music of the '80s, and he does not forgive them for loving it. (Ken passed away in November 2022. R.I.P. —Ed.)

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